Must have panorama

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mark

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Is any one using the shen hao back or one of the similar 6x12 backs I see on ebay all the time. I am in a "must have panoramic" mood. Have been since before christmas. I am wondering if these backs will work on a sinar F1 and how well they work.

I am also searching for a panoramic BW camera that is around the 5x12 size. I am not getting the time I need to make my own. I think 4x10 is too small so that is out. I can only contact print. Otherwise I would enlarge.

I am looking for options. 12x20 is too square for my tastes. Can anyone give me options on the used market and what to look for as I inspect these cameras?
 

George Losse

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You mention a number a different kinds of panoramic formats in your post. I've used a Calumet 6x12 back. It worked out fine but I just have a hard time pushing myself to print small negatives.

Don't forget to look at 7x17 and 8x20, they are big but no where as square a format as the 12x20. They turn up on the used market fairly regularly, though not at as good of prices as they used to. The 8x20 is the same image ratio as the 4x10 you mentioned but a lot bigger.

I shoot 8x20 and have to tell you there is nothing like seeing that negative hanging in the darkroom to drying. A couple of years ago I went out and shot with both the 6x12 back and the 8x20 camera. I made the mistake of processing the negatives from that shoot the same day. Seeing the two negatives side-by-side made me put the 6x12 back on the shelf, where it still sits today.
 

Nick Zentena

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I'm actually waiting for a 6x12 back I ordered from the Shen Hao factory along with a 5x7 camera. From what I understand it'll fit any camera with a 4x5 graflok back.

Shen Hao is now making a 5x12. No idea on cost. I had enough trouble getting info on the camera I bought.

http://www.shen-hao.com/hzx57-IIAT.html

I don't know what the situation is for film holders. Does an Ansi standard exist for 5x12? If not you might want to make sure you get enough film holders with the camera.
 

rbarker

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If you are limited to doing contact prints, Mark, I suspect you might be disappointed with the results from rollfilm-based panoramics - unless you like small, intimate prints. You might be happier with 7"x17" or 8"x20" formats.
 

Deckled Edge

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rbarker said:
If you are limited to doing contact prints, Mark, I suspect you might be disappointed with the results from rollfilm-based panoramics - unless you like small, intimate prints. You might be happier with 7"x17" or 8"x20" formats.

I chose 7x17, and I'm happy I did. My sink accepts Patterson 13x17 in. trays, my contact print frame is 11x14, and my sink was made to accomodate the trays I already owned. Going to 8x20 would have obsoleted all that, with much expense.

I agree that the joy of hanging negatives is directly proportional to the square of the size of the negative hanging, but a 7x17 contact print is no slouch, and the aspect ratio at 2.43 is plenty long.

I also own an 11x14 and have thought about the "half darkslide" technique for making 5.5x14 panoramas. That would give an aspect ratio of 2.56:1, and is closer to your stated goal of 5 in. on the short side.(5x12 AR=2.4:1). However, the 11x14 camera is bulkier and more top heavy. Set up is more difficult, and the split darkslide method is far from fool-proof.

Lens coverage is also an issue as the image circle grows beyond 13 in. The Korona 7x17 is rarely found with a second rail, so you are limited to FL < 18 in. This requires Dagors or WA lenses, which are more expensive. I'm delighted with my 7x17 Korona, and would recommend it for anyone who has "panoramania" as I have had for the last 6 months.
 
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mark

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I would only use the 6x12 for color transparency work. Send it our for process and print if I like it.

This winter break I scanned some transparencies and negatives. I then cropped them to the different aspect ratios, printed them and compared them side by side. An enlarged 6x12 was nice and for contacts the 5x12 was just about as small as I wanted to go.

I will have to look at the ebay thing when I get home.

I have never actually seen, in real life, a camera larger than 8x10 and no panorama cameras. Is there anything special I should look for or ask about when seeking these on the used market? Are there specific concerns or quirks certain cameras have?
 

MikeK

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mark said:
I would only use the 6x12 for color transparency work. Send it our for process and print if I like it.

This winter break I scanned some transparencies and negatives. I then cropped them to the different aspect ratios, printed them and compared them side by side. An enlarged 6x12 was nice and for contacts the 5x12 was just about as small as I wanted to go.

I will have to look at the ebay thing when I get home.

I have never actually seen, in real life, a camera larger than 8x10 and no panorama cameras. Is there anything special I should look for or ask about when seeking these on the used market? Are there specific concerns or quirks certain cameras have?

Mark, I have the Shen Hao 6x12 back, bought it from the View Camera Store. Very rudimentary, built like a tank, comes with a 6x9 mask as well and works just fine. You have to open the peephole to watch the frame numbers when winding. Let me know if you have any more questions.

You can see the beast at Dead Link Removed

- Mike
 

smieglitz

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mark said:
...I have never actually seen, in real life, a camera larger than 8x10 and no panorama cameras. Is there anything special I should look for or ask about when seeking these on the used market? Are there specific concerns or quirks certain cameras have?

Mark,

In general be prepared for a shock just in terms of the bulk of larger cameras. Also be in for a shock when you start pricing new film holders and beware of older wooden holders which may need modification to fit a specific camera or a refurb to become useful. As the format size increases, the number of lenses which are usable on the camera decreases. Many older cameras such as Koronas may be missing things like rail support struts. Be sure the bellows is in good shape as replacements for these larger special format cameras can be pricey. Also be sure the bellows extension will be adequate for the lens focal length and subject distances you wish to use.

Joe
 

claytume

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Mark

Lens and Repro have a 5x12 Korona for sale with 2 holders for $1650, that's a good buy because they're extremely rare and not often for sale. I've bought a new Shen-Hao 5x12 and should have it later this month, camera was $2480 and film holders are available from Sandy King for $225 each.

I bought the camera to do enlargements not contacts but contacts are a reasonble size from this format.

Clayton
 
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mark

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You have an enlarger that will accept a 12 inch negative!? I didn't know one existed.

It seems that for the price of a larger camera I could buy a full 4x5 darkroom set up off EBAY. Looks like I am back to the drawing board and will be Building one. and I am seriously looking at the Shen Hao 6x12 back

HMMM......I wonder if I can modify an old 2d and just make a new back and bellows. This could be fun.
 

claytume

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mark said:
You have an enlarger that will accept a 12 inch negative!? I didn't know one existed.

Mark

my enlarger takes a 14 inch negative, I stretched a 4x5 out to that size, just one of the many things you have to be prepared to do to shoot these odd formats.

I have an 8x10 enlarger that I've been thinking of stretching to 8x20 or maybe ever longer, the idea was to enlarge 7x17 but I don't currently have that format. I'll wait until I shoot the 5x12 a fair bit then decide if the larger format is warranted, I may just got for something larger and only contact print. But then I may not.......somewhere along the line you have to decide when you've reached a size you can live with daily. Many get to the big sizes and find the logistics of hauling them around and high film costs defeat the pleasure of using them. I haven't got there yet.

The ultimate for me is the 16x48 format which was not uncommon 100 years ago. This is a swing lens camera and not as big as you'd imagine, maybe coffee table size.

Clayton
 

Jim Moore

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claytume said:
Mark

my enlarger takes a 14 inch negative, I stretched a 4x5 out to that size, just one of the many things you have to be prepared to do to shoot these odd formats.

Clayton,

Can you share any information on how you did this?

Thanks!

Jim
 

claytume

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JMoore said:
Clayton,

Can you share any information on how you did this?

Thanks!

Jim
Jim

it's easier than you might think, the secret is finding an enlarger suitable for the conversion. At the time I owned one enlarger so it was the obvious one to investigate first. It's an early model De Vere 504 with colour head, this model was very common in this country in pro labs and I gather the same in the UK. I know there are plenty in the US as well. The later versions of the De Vere aren't suitable (for the way I did the conversion) because construction is quite different.

Basically the De Vere is made of 3 castings which are two end plates and another plate that the dichroic filters and lamp bolt to. The main body is folded sheet metal that the end plates attach to and also the filter plate.

So it was a simple matter of unbolting the original body and having a new one folded up that was 9 inches longer. Of course new bellows had to be made, a neg stage and carriers.

It took me 3 months to do the conversion doing bits and pieces when I had time. I had the body folded by a sheet metal shop, the guy that did it is the best I know in the business and it came out better than original because he improved on the design somewhat.

I have an engineering background and made all the other bits including the bellows. It took 2 goes to get them right and they're still not perfect but do the job just fine.

The conversion cost something like a couple of hundred dollars.

These days with modern equipment it would be easier to scan long negs and print digital output, I haven't gone down that route because digital printing is too slow and expensive.

My enlarger has printed many thousands of panoramic prints and never given an ounce of trouble.

I suspect most other enlargers wouldn't stretch as easy as this one due to their design but I think it could be done to most if you were prepared to put the work in. Like anything hard work has it's rewards.

The pics show before and after the conversion and a carrier I use

Clayton
 

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John Kasaian

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Heres one option---a 5x7 back with sliders giving you two 2-1/2"x7" on a single sheet of 5x7 film. I know Agfa Anscos had them(mine does) and I'm sure other old woodies had them as well. They're still out there under $300(sometimes well under $300!) Not a Noblex, but not too much money either!

Cheers!
 
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mark

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But then I run into the enlarger issue. I have no room for one.
 

John Kasaian

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OK contact prints then. For something quick and dirty, make yourself a pinhole panoramic camera. Get film from Photo Warehouse and make an arched back from roof flashing with little tabs to hold the film in place. Make sure the arc of the film plane is equi-distant from the pinhole. I made one out of the box my 'puter came in(looked like a holstien cow!)

Good Luck!
 

Jim Moore

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claytume said:
Jim

it's easier than you might think, the secret is finding an enlarger suitable for the conversion.

Clayton thanks for the info. I'll have to put this project on my "to do when I finally get the time" list :tongue:

Jim
 
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